|Publication number||US8074463 B2|
|Application number||US 12/125,161|
|Publication date||Dec 13, 2011|
|Filing date||May 22, 2008|
|Priority date||May 23, 2007|
|Also published as||US20090000326|
|Publication number||12125161, 125161, US 8074463 B2, US 8074463B2, US-B2-8074463, US8074463 B2, US8074463B2|
|Inventors||Seon Wook Bang|
|Original Assignee||Lg Electronics Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (5), Non-Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (1), Classifications (7), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. 119 and 35 U.S.C. 365 to Korean Patent Application No. 10-2007-0050374 (filed on May 23, 2007), which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.
This document relates to a refrigerator with a structure for preventing outside air from introducing into an evaporator.
2. Description of the Related Art
According to this construction, in case the evaporator 10 continues to carry out an operation for producing cold air for a predetermined time, frost is formed on the evaporator 10. And, defrost water is produced, as the defrost heater 18 is operated to remove the frost. The defrost water is discharged to the collecting tray 27 via the drain pan 21 and drain hose 24. Here, the movement of refrigerant into the evaporator 10 is blocked during the defrost process.
If the defrost process is completely finished, cold air is produced as refrigerant is re-introduced into the evaporator 10, and the cold air is blown into the storage chamber 3 as the cooling fan 15 rotates. Here, if the cooling fan 15 rotates, outside air of room temperature may be introduced into the evaporator 10 through an outlet of the drain hose 24. And, the introduced outside air is contacted with cold air in the vicinity of the drain pan 21.
Here, since the outside air contains a specific amount of moisture, the moisture is condensed by contacting it with cold air. Further, if the storage chamber 10 is a freezing chamber, the condensed water droplet is frozen at a neck of the drain pan 21 due to the temperature of cold air. Accordingly, the water droplet to be frozen blocks a discharge passage of defrost water, so that defrost water is not smoothly discharged when carrying out the defrost operation.
The present invention is derived to resolve the above conventional problems, and an object of the present invention is to provide a refrigerator which allows defrost water to be discharged smoothly by preventing outside air from introducing toward an evaporator.
To achieve the objects of the present invention, as embodied and broadly described herein, there is provided a refrigerator, comprising: a main body in which a food storage chamber is provided; a door pivotably provided at a front of the main body to selectively open/close the storage chamber; an evaporator installed at a rear of the storage chamber; a drain pan provided below the evaporator to receive condensed water; a collecting tray provided at a bottom of the main body to store condensed water collected in the drain pan; a drain hose extended from the drain pan to guide condensed water to the collecting tray; and a blocking element into which an outlet end of the drain hose is inserted to prevent outside air from being introduced into the drain hose.
In another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a refrigerator, comprising: a main body where a machine room for accommodating a compressor and a condenser is provided at a bottom portion; an evaporator provided in the main body to produce cold air; a drain pan provided below the evaporator to receive condensed water; a collecting tray provided at a bottom portion of the machine room to store condensed water collected in the drain pan; a drain hose extended from the drain pan to guide condensed water to the collecting tray; and a blocking element protruded at a bottom of the collecting tray to collect the condensed water, wherein an outlet end of the drain hose is immersed into the condensed water which is collected in the blocking element to prevent outside air from being introduced into the evaporator.
In accordance with the refrigerator of the present invention, since outside air is prevented from introducing into the evaporator while operating the refrigerator, water is advantageously prevented from freezing onto a defrost water discharge passage. Further, as freezing phenomena is prevented, defrost water or condensed water is freely discharged.
Hereinafter, the preferred embodiments of the present invention will be explained in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings. It is to be pointed out that the embodiments of the present invention do not limit the scope of the invention, but on the contrary it has to be understood that many modifications, additions, variations or substitutions may be resorted to the present invention, without altering its spirit or departing from its scope of protection, as it is defined in the appended claims.
In detail, a drain pan 50, which is to receive defrost water generated while operating the defrost heater 48 or condensed water generated on the surface of the evaporator 40, is provided below the evaporator 40. And, a drain hose 54 for transferring defrost water to a bottom is extended at a lower part of a neck of the drain pan 50.
Also, a collecting tray 60, which collects defrost water discharged through the drain hose 54, is mounted below the main body 30. In detail, a blocking element 70, which supports the drain hose 54 and prevents outside air from introducing into the drain hose 54, is provided at the bottom of the collecting tray 60.
Specifically, the sleeve 71 is an element of a hollow cylinder shape, into which an end of the drain hose 54 is inserted. And, the sleeve 71 is configured that an inner diameter thereof is greater than an outer diameter of the drain hose 54. And then, defrost water falling along the drain hose 54 is collected at the sleeve 71, and water level rises along the space formed between an outer circumferential surface of the drain hose 54 and an inner circumferential surface of the sleeve 71. And, if defrost water overflows after the water level reaches a top of the sleeve 71, the water is collected onto the collecting tray 60.
Meanwhile, the support ribs 72 are configured that they are upwardly extended from the bottom of the collecting tray 60 and that at least two plates are extended in the intersecting direction each other. Therefore, each of the support ribs 72 is configured to be extended radially at a predetermined angle from the intersecting point. And, the width of the support rib 72 is equal to or smaller than the inner diameter of the drain hose 54, so that it can be inserted into the drain hose 54. In detail, as the support rib 72 is inserted into the drain hose 54, the fluctuation of the drain hose 54 is prevented.
Also, a plurality of support projections 73 are horizontally extended from a side end of the support ribs 72, and a lower end of the drain hose 54 is seated on the support projections 73. Here, the number of the support projections 73 may be the same as that of the support ribs 72. And, the support ribs 72 are formed at a height spaced from the bottom of the collecting tray 60 at a predetermined distance. If the lower end of the drain hose 54 is tightly connected to the bottom of the collecting tray 60, defrost water falling through the drain hose 54 cannot be filled into the sleeve 71. And then, the falling defrost water may be collected in the drain pan 50 as being filled in the drain hose 54, and over time, the bottom of the evaporator 40 may be immersed in the defrost water. Therefore, the drain hose 54 is needed to be spaced apart from the bottom of the collecting tray 60 so that the falling defrost water is freely stored in the sleeve 71 and is finally stored in the collecting tray 60.
Further, an end of the drain hose 54 is inserted into the sleeve 71, as the support projections 73 are formed at a lower level than a top of the sleeve 71.
In detail, the defrost water W is collected into the drain pan 50 and is dropped into the collecting tray 60 along the drain hose 54. Further, the defrost water W falling along the drain hose 54 is stored in the sleeve 71. Here, since a space is formed between adjacent support ribs 72, the falling defrost water W is freely collected in the sleeve without flow resistance.
Meanwhile, water level of the defrost water W stored in the sleeve 71 is raised, and the water level W is overflowed when reaching a top of the sleeve 71. And, since the lower end of the drain hose 54 is disposed at a level which is lower than the sleeve 71, an end of the drain hose 54 is immersed in the defrost water. In that case, outside air is prevented from introducing into the drain hose 54 via an outlet of the drain hose 54. Here, a point of time when the drain hose 54 is closed is determined according to a formation position of the support projection 73 which supports the lower end of the drain hose 54. For example, if the support projection 73 is formed adjacent to the bottom of the collecting tray 60, the point of time when the drain hose 54 is immersed into water will be accelerated, however if the support projection 73 is formed apart from the bottom of the collecting tray 60, the point of time when the drain hose 54 is immersed into water will be delayed.
Meanwhile, if the defrost operation is completed, cold refrigerant is reflowed into the evaporator 40 to produce cold air, and the cold air is moved to the storage chamber 33 as the cooling fan 45 rotates.
Once the drain hose 54 is immersed into the sleeve 71, outside air cannot be introduced into the drain hose 54 before the level of water stored in the sleeve 71 is lowered to a certain point lower than the support projection 73.
By means of this construction, since outside air is effectively prevented from being introduced therein through the drain hose 54, it is possible to prevent the phenomenon that water vapor is condensed at the outlet of the drain pan 50 and prohibits frost water from being discharged.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US2485115 *||Jul 19, 1946||Oct 18, 1949||Gen Motors Corp||Refrigerating apparatus having condensate collecting means|
|US3696632 *||Mar 8, 1971||Oct 10, 1972||Gen Motors Corp||Defrost water drain trap|
|US4023380 *||Jan 22, 1976||May 17, 1977||Les Industries Bfg Limitee||Evaporation tray for refrigerators|
|CA703567A *||Feb 9, 1965||Earl K. Harley, Jr.||Refrigerators|
|JP2001056175A *||Title not available|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US20110209492 *||Oct 8, 2009||Sep 1, 2011||Rittal Gmbh & Co. Kg||Condensate Removal By Means Of Condensate Evaporation In A Refrigeration Device|
|U.S. Classification||62/285, 62/291|
|Cooperative Classification||F25D2321/146, F25D21/14, F25D2321/1442|
|Sep 8, 2008||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: LG ELECTRONICS INC., KOREA, REPUBLIC OF
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:BANG, SEON WOOK;REEL/FRAME:021496/0284
Effective date: 20080819
|May 29, 2015||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4